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Performance

Cooling Efficiency

The next diagram and table show the results of the four new coolers from AMA and their opponent.


Click to enlarge

So, we’ve got very interesting results here! There are two losers and two leaders among the four coolers from AMA. The AMA Elf proves to be the worst one, barely copying with the slightly overclocked quad-core processor in quiet mode. After all, the intricately intertwined heat pipes, even six in number, are not as effective as we might expect. When the fan speed is increased from the minimum 1480 RPM to 2000 RPM, the Elf becomes more productive and the peak CPU temperature goes down by 5°C, yet this cooler is still the worst among the four. At the maximum speed of 2660 RPM it improves by 4°C more and still cannot match the other coolers from AMA.

Oddly enough, it is the AMA Orc that proves to be second worst in this test. Alas, the design of its heatsink prevents this all-copper cooler with a 120mm impeller compete with the two leaders. Anyway, the Orc is third, outperforming the Elf by an average 4°C and cooling the overclocked CPU well enough for a top-cooler.

Second place goes to the cheapest product in this review. It is the modest Phantom. This small tower with a single 92mm fan copes splendidly with the task, outperforming the previous two models by 9 to 11°C. Moreover, the Phantom is a mere 1-2°C behind the copper Stormblazer which is 35% more expensive! As the CPU frequency at overclocking was limited by the efficiency of the AMA Elf, the two best coolers could not show their best. Therefore I tested them again at the maximum speed of their fans. 

AMA Phantom at 2660 RPM

3.99 GHz at 1.3625 V

AMA Stormblazer at 2040 RPM

4.01 GHZ at 1.375 V

As you can see, the coolers stop only 80-90 MHz short of the highest CPU frequency I had reached with a Noctua NH-D14. This is not much considering that the resulting frequency is as high as 4000 MHz. Although AMA’s best coolers are inferior to the Noctua NH-D14 (over 10°C at comparable noise), the Phantom and Stormblazer are very effective as today’s coolers go. The noise factor will be discussed in the next section.

 
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